Consumer Payment Card News

260% Interest?

Where can you borrow $100 for an effective, annualized interest rate of 260%? Try your bank credit card ! Credit card cash advance fees are soaring. Five years ago most card issuers charged a cash advance fee of 2.0% with a $2.00 minimum. They also capped the special fee at $10.00. Now the fees have a higher minimum and no maximum. Additionally most issuers now charge a higher interest rate for cash advances compared to the rate for purchases. For example Bank of America now charges a $20.00 minimum fee for cash advances made at other than an ATM or with a convenience check. Borrow $100 off your BofA card and you will be charged $20.00 and daily interest at the rate of 21.49% per annum. Since cash advance fees are considered interest this means you’ll pay an annualized interest rate of 261.49%. Take a smaller cash advance and the annualized interest rate could soar to 1000%. Other issuers have established higher minimums too. Wells Fargo and First USA now levy a $10.00 minimum cash advance fee. If you need cash think twice about using your credit card. The best way to get cash is to use an ATM/debit card at your bank’s ATM.

ISSUER                    CASH APR          CASH ADVANCE FEE

Citibank                   19.99%         3.0% with a $5.00 minimum
Bank One/First USA         19.99%         2.0% with a $10.00 minimum
MBNA                       17.65%         2.0% with a $2.00 minimum
Discover                   20.99%         2.5% with a $3.00 minimum
Chase                      19.55%         3.0% with a $5.00 minimum
Bank of America            21.49%         3.0% with a $20.00 minimum;
($2.00 minimum for ATM or check access)
Capital One                19.80%         2.5% with a $2.50 minimum
Household Bank             19.99%         2.5% with a $2.50 minimum
Fleet                      21.99%         4.0% with a $5.00 minimum
Providian                  23.99%         5.0% with a $3.00 minimum

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